Speaking at a press conference to launch a report entitled Tsunami Response: A Human Rights Assessment, Miloon Kothari, independent Special Rapporteur on adequate housing for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, said the report demonstrated clearly that, in the face of such an overwhelming tragedy, Governments had failed to uphold the human rights to food, health, housing and livelihood of their most vulnerable citizens.
The report is based on a country case study that was carried out in Tsunami affected countries including Sri lanka
Focusing on Sri lanka the report says that the buffer zone issue which prevents displaced people rebuilding close to the sea shore has been confusing and inconsistent.
This has increased the hardships and anxiety of families living in temporary shelter points out the study.
Commenting on the situation of the Eastern province the study reveals that people have received very little information on alternative sites for relocation.
According to the study lack of a clear policy or mechanism for land acquisitions remains one of the greatest impediments for providing permanent housing for the displaced.
The report also says that there has been discrimination towards the poorer communities in paying out compensation.
For instance owners of bigger boats have received disproportionate compensations than the poorer fisherman who lost there small wooden boats, says the report.
Judy De Vadawason, representative of a tsunami-affected community in Trincomalee, said the tsunami had displaced some people several times, especially women and children, who were the most marginalized. She was referring to those who haven effected the tsunami as well as the conflict situation.
According to a news relese issued by the UN Vadawason has told the audience at UN headquarters that while households headed by single women were entitled to about $150 in compensation for a child killed by the tsunami, each such mother had to bring in the dead child’s father, even if he had left his wife to raise the child on her own.
The compensation money was then given to the former husband.